Will there be a referendum on Scottish independence?

France Press agency

NOS News

  • Fleur Lonsbach

    UK and Ireland correspondent

  • Fleur Lonsbach

    UK and Ireland correspondent

It is an important moment for the independence movement in Scotland. Today, the UK’s highest court, the Supreme Court, decides whether Scots can hold a referendum.

In recent weeks, the court has considered whether the Scottish Parliament has the power to hold a referendum on independence without the consent of the government in London.

One poll per generation

It is a long-cherished dream of Scottish nationalists: secession from the United Kingdom. This is also the task of Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon of the Scottish National Party (SNP), which together with the Greens holds 72 of the 129 seats in the Scottish Parliament. The Greens also want to secede from the UK. It is the largest number of supporters of independence in Parliament ever.

According to Sturgeon, it is undemocratic that the people of Scotland cannot decide for themselves whether or not they want to belong to the United Kingdom. But experts disagree about whether Scots are legally entitled to do so. So Scotland has its own Parliament, but in general the following applies: Constitutional matters rest with Westminster. And the British government invariably says “no”.

In 2014, then British Prime Minister Cameron gave permission for a referendum. 55% of all Scots voted against independence. Permission was granted by London on the condition that an independence referendum be held only once per generation.

Brexit as a trump card

This argument is now being used as a trump card to force another referendum after eight years. After Brexit, Scotland’s alienation from the ruling Conservative Party, scandals surrounding the economic mismanagement of Boris Johnson and Liz Truss bolstered support for the referendum.

plan b

If you look at the polls, it’s all about it. It always hovers around 50-50, a touch or a touch, but not a clear majority. A poll on whether the referendum should be held now or later showed that 30 percent of Scots favored “now”.

If the High Court decides that the Scottish Parliament does not have the power to hold a referendum without London’s permission, Sturgeon already has a Plan B. She wants to campaign solely on the issue of independence in the next national election. If she wins more than 50 percent of the Scottish vote with the SNP, she believes the result will, in effect, be a referendum.

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